Do you get pigeonholed into the same meeting spot year after year? Are you tired of the same regime, conversation and buffet? Do you long for new activity and adventure? Then it’s time to break up with your old meeting destination and get into the dating scene.
Choosing a group location is just as scrutinizing and stressful as dating—dreadful coffee meetups, horrible dinner setups and uncomfortable lunch scenes. Mountain Meetings has removed the awkwardness of dating conundrums and narrowed down the field to five suitable candidates.
PROFILE: Timber Cruiser
Location: Big Bear, California
Elevation: 6,700 feet
Size: 5,300 residents
Connect With Me: bigbear.com | 800.424.4232
ABOUT ME: If you don’t live in California, you’ve perhaps never heard of me. Nearly 90 percent of my visitors are from in-state. However, I’m West Coast entrepreneurial and understand climate change and changing up habits so I now offer incredible year-round activities and accommodate groups up to 1,500. Nestled in the San Bernardino National Forest, we can see each other often as I’m conveniently located about 100 miles from Los Angeles and 150 miles from downtown San Diego and deliver more than 300 days of blissful sunshine. My namesake alpine lake is 7 miles long and has 23 miles of shoreline, and I have hundreds of miles of forestry road surrounding me.
MY PERFECT MATCH: I’m looking for someone who might not be from California, a match who is excited to see this beautiful niche of the Golden State that is foreign to many out-of-staters. I like to host parties at locations such as The Lodge at Big Bear Lake, located right next to the village with 147 guest rooms and suites, 9,000 square feet of meeting space and Stillwells, the popular on-site restaurant. Big Bear Convention Center can host up to 1,400 for mingling or 800 for banquet seating in 11,000 square feet of available space. A shindig at Wolf Creek Resort for a maximum of 65 is fabulous as well.
MY PERFECT DATE: Picture winter retreats that feature strategic plans over a hearty breakfast, board meetings held while swooshing down alpine slopes and enjoying après ski, and fireside brainstorming sessions back at the lodge. I’m warm and welcoming, just like a big bear hug from a burly lumberjack; so let’s cozy up by a fire pit in the village. Maybe we can grab a beer at Big Bear Lake Brewery or a bite to eat at The Pines Lakefront? I might be a little hard to get to, but the climb is more than worth it. With my crisp, clean air and small-town hospitality, some say I really elevate what it means to mix work and play for a complete meeting experience, including outdoor options like Action Tours Zipline, Big Bear Jeep Experience, and Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts.
PROFILE: Lakeside Lover
Location: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Elevation: 2,180 feet
Size: 50,285 residents
Connect With Me: coeurdalene.org | 208.664.3194
ABOUT ME: I won’t be upset if you can’t pronounce my name on our first date because I know by evening’s end you will be loving my uniqueness, northern Idaho panhandle location and pet name of “Lake City.” Just use CDA for easier text messages and hashtags. I’m 36 miles west of Spokane, Washington, and named after a local tribe of Native Americans. My Coeur d’Alene National Forest is protected, precious and most importantly, authentic. I also have a city Lakefront Beach that offers swimming and leads to a beach in front of North Idaho College, which also borders the Spokane River. I enjoy strolls on the Centennial Trail along the Spokane River and eve - nings out in my downtown with many bars and restaurants that offer live music. And, I’m distinguished with the longest floating boardwalk in the United States!
MY PERFECT MATCH: No spuds about it, I’m looking for a serious water and forest enthusiast. I offer Tubbs Hill, a 120-acre waterfront preserve in my downtown with nature trails, wildlife and incredible views of the lake. I have lots of hobbies, including art. The first weekend in August, Art on the Green, hosted by Citizens’ Council for the Arts, is held on the North Idaho College campus. I need someone with a sense of adventure and quirkiness. Follow the 2-mile Mudgy Moose Trail where the children’s book “Mudgy & Millie” by local author Susan Nipp comes alive with bronze sculptures depicting the friends’ hide-and-seek game. Do you golf? My Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course’s 14th hole is the world’s only floating green and a stunning opportunity for selfies.
MY PERFECT DATE: When it comes to groups, I’m well-versed in preparing the ideal outing. Coeur d’Alene Resort has a conference center with more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space and can host up to 1,800 guests. I would take you kayaking around Tubbs Hill or we could stand-up paddleboard right off the shore. Maybe a sunset dinner lake cruise would be memorable, or ROW Adventures offers incredible guided whitewater rafting trips that are close by. If you prefer a winter date, Wallace, just to my east, is at the heart of a snowmobiling area that stretches from Coeur d’Alene to St. Regis, Montana, a 1,000- mile trip. Wallace can offer us 250 miles of groomed trails to play and get acquainted with one another in a winter wonderland. If it’s spring you want, then I would take us to The Greenbriar, a historic Victorian house and restaurant, with a few lodging rooms and wonderful off-site catering.
PROFILE: Luxury Adventurer
Location: Snowmass, Colorado
Elevation: 8,410 feet
Size: 2,800 residents
Connect With Me: gosnowmass.com | 970.923.2000
ABOUT ME: I’m consistently referred to as Aspen’s little brother or sister, but you need to be aware of my metamorphosis into a handsome bidder for your companionship. I’m 9 miles from Aspen and a champion of innovative outdoor programming, numerous four-star hotel offerings and upscale mountain cuisine. I offer 3,300 acres of skiable terrain (three times the size of Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands or nearby Buttermilk). I don’t have an ego, but am humbled and honored that I consistently rank as one of the best ski areas in the world. Don’t fret if you don’t like downhill skiing or snowboarding, as I have over two dozen other offerings in winter and loads of other options in summer and fall.
MY PERFECT MATCH: I need to be with someone who is comfortable in a resort setting rather than a full-fledged town, as 95 percent of my lodging is within Snowmass Resort. I am one of the smaller luxury mountain towns but have some of the biggest offerings, so I need an adventurer who has a liking for fine and clever dining, such as newly opened Limelight Lounge and The Crêpe Shack by Mawa’s Kitchen, and posh hotel rooms such Viceroy Snowmass and its brand new addition, Limelight Hotel Snowmass or The Westin Snowmass Resort with an attached conference center built directly into the side of the mountain.
MY PERFECT DATE: I wish you’d visit in summer; I’m especially spectacular. I would love to take you to a Snowmass Free Concert Series on the mountain with a picnic basket prepared by The Artisan at The Stonebridge or we can grab a local brew or glass of wine to toast the music. The Snowmass Rodeo celebrates 46 years this summer with Wednesday evening shows, and we could have an authentic wild, Wild West experience. I would meet you early in the morning for a cup of coffee at local’s favorite Fuel Café before we embark to Lost Forest for the day. Located at Snowmass ski resort’s Elk Camp, the adventure park has an alpine coaster, zip lines, biking trails, challenge course, climbing walls, ponds to fish and two disc courses.
Tinder has taught us, sometimes, it's an instant connection.
PROFILE: Lively Lumberjack
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Elevation: 7,000 feet
Size: 72,000 residents
Connect: meetinflagstaff.org | 928.213.290
I sit on the western edge of the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest. In 2001, I was awarded the world’s first International Dark Sky City designation to preserve my pristine setting for four magical seasons, snow included. I am home to Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Orpheum Theater, Northern Arizona University and Lowell Observatory. My proximity to the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona Sunbowl, Meteor Crater and infamous Route 66 make me geographically available to many activity and transportation options. A walk through The Arboretum at Flagstaff is the perfect afternoon date where I can show you 750 species of plants or host a special meeting or event inside or outisde. Another option is Roux 66, a unique 1,000-square-foot meeting space with full catering, bar and audio-visual equipment. For a little more intimacy, we’ll visit the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park where we can tour the 13,000-square-foot arts and crafts style home with 40 rooms.
PROFILE: Elk Elegant
Location: Estes Park, Colorado
Elevation: 7,500 feet
Size: 6,400 residents
Connect: visitestespark.com | 970.577.9900
I’m known as the base camp for Rocky Mountain National Park, home to The Stanley Hotel and locale of large elk herds. Luckily, I’m only 90 minutes from Denver International Airport and easy to access. My YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center has cabins, lodge rooms and vacation homes for lodging options to welcome small to enormous groups as well as a roller-skating rink, arts and crafts, on-site dining and tons of meeting space. The Stanley also has many options for courting such as The Pavilion with a 300-seat amphitheater featuring a retractable glass wall and two event rooms, and the 2,640-square-foot Concert Hall with dramatic high ceilings, a large stage and its own veranda overlooking the mountains. I’d like to impress you with a summer drive to the top of Trail Ridge Road, summer llama trekking trip and stargazing at Estes Park Memorial Observatory. For elk lovers, don’t miss my The Wapiti Colorado Pub (try a smoked elk, jalapeño and cheddar brat) Green Jeep Tours and guided elk tours with Yellow Wood Guiding.